Last year’s Poetry & Lyrics festival caught a lot of attention as the inexorable link between music and verse was celebrated by poetry curators Poet in the City. It returns again this year to Kings Place (9 & 10 June) and is already proving popular requiring the venue to run a live relay of one sold out event from two of the country’s most iconic wordsmiths, Don Paterson and PJ Harvey.
The event opens on Friday, June 9th, with Kristin McClement and her siren sounds. Bridging two worlds with her haunting melodies she evokes the vast shapeshifting landscape of her childhood South Africa, and the melancholic romance of old England.
On Saturday is a special Nest Collective event which celebrates the oral histories of two English regions, Devon and Yorkshire, exploring the way that local history is mapped through the dialect of a community, and the dialogue with its land. The Land Listeners features folk singer Jackie Oates and Dartmoor keeper of language Bill Murray. They will tell tales from Devon through their south-western tongue, combining story and song, while Lakeland fiddle player and singer Scott William Albert Hartley joins stone mason and language keeper Will Noble to regale the audience with tales from Yorkshire through their northern vernacular.
Also on Saturday:
The Nest Collective will be presenting Secrets from the Nest on the Foyer Stage for a secret snippet of stories and songs from across the land in what promises to be a rousing performance.
6 Music’s Murray Lachlan Young brings together a blockbuster evening to celebrate lyrics in all their different guises. Expect live music, poetry and discussion from the most exciting names in poetry and lyrics they delve deep into the vices of verse and the verses of vice.
Delving deep, Still I Rise: Hip Hop, Feminism & Poetry, takes a look at how spoken word and rap are changing the debate about feminism.
Another event which is sure to prove very popular is Possessing Nothing: John Cage Song Books, an event in collaboration with Elaine Mitchener Projects, celebrating the lyricism of John Cage’s iconic Song Books…Published in 1970 the Song Books were written on commission for Cathy Berberian and Simone Rist. Cage consulted the I ching (the Chinese oracle book) to determine how many songs would go into each book: 56 and 34 were the responses. This left him with the ridiculous task of writing ninety new pieces for a solo singer in only three months. For each song, Cage had to ask three questions and receive the answers by tossing coins and consulting the I ching. The answers would give him instructions on how to discover this solo. Both volumes are a diverse, cornucopia of innovative musical ideas, code and fragments that reconsider the lyric in an unlikely, a syntactical guise. Shards of text disrupt and distract, demonstrating his famous claim that ‘there is poetry as soon as we realise that we possess nothing’.
Much of what takes place at the festival could be seen as offering the audience a journey. One such joyful journey through song and stories is the explosive Afrikan Revolution which tells stories from across the diaspora. The Afrikan Revolution are a riot of colour and energy, a sprawling super-group of musicians from around the globe led by multi-talented musician Niles ‘Asheber’ Hailstones. Formed in 2007 and fuelled by the global ‘Afrikan Renaissance Movement’, the band presents an infinite yet seamless mixture of Afrikan, reggae, jazz, soul, blues and spoken word, all with a spiritual message. From the lyrical innovator (and youngest member) Heru, all the way to the esteemed elder of the group, master percussionist and music legend Baba Adesose Wallace, these artists will be using words and music to bring their stories to life in an uplifting, joyful afternoon.
Also on Saturday, Kayo Chingonyi shares work from his first full-length collection, Kumukanda, alongside a new sequence of poems exploring the forms of love poetry and love songs. kumukanda is the name given to the rites a young boy from the Luvale tribe must pass through before he is considered a man.
See the full lineup below:
Poetry and Lyrics Lineup
Tickets are now on sale, click here for more details.
Friday 9 June
Don Paterson & PJ Harvey
readings and conversation
Saturday 10 June
Vices and Verses
with Murray Lachlan Young
The Land Listeners
presented by The Nest Collective
Throughout the weekend:
In the Dark
Immersive audio experience
More here: http://www.kingsplace.co.uk